Here are what the editors at HealthDay consider to be the most important developments in Pulmonology for December 2009. This roundup includes the latest research news from journal articles, as well as the FDA approvals and regulatory changes that are the most likely to affect clinical practice.
Precautions and Training Can Reduce Scalpel Injuries
THURSDAY, Dec. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Although less common than needle-stick injuries, cuts from scalpels also put operating room personnel at risk and can be reduced by closely following safety precautions and taking advantage of new technology, according to a study in the December issue of the AORN Journal.
Life Years Lost Due to Pneumoconiosis Increasing
TUESDAY, Dec. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The number of potential years of life lost due to coal workers' pneumoconiosis has been increasing since 2002, and preventive measures should be stepped up, according to a report published in the Dec. 25 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
CT Preferred in Diagnosis of Pulmonary Embolism
MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism, nearly all emergency physicians and radiologists prefer computed tomography, according to a study in the January issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.
H1N1-Affected Lungs From Deceased Show Damage
MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) -- Nearly all patients who died of H1N1 flu show evidence of lung damage and an aberrant immune response, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Air Pollution Linked to Pneumonia in the Elderly
MONDAY, Dec. 28 (HealthDay News) In the elderly, exposure to high levels of air pollution is associated with a higher risk of being hospitalized with pneumonia, according to a study in the Jan. 1 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Novel Gene Linked to Early-Onset Asthma in Children
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified a novel gene linked to early-onset asthma, with different alleles causing the predisposition in children of European and African descent, according to a study published online Dec. 23 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Health Impact of Body Mass Index May Be Misleading
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- The adverse impact of low body mass index (BMI) on risk of respiratory disease and lung cancer mortality may be overstated, while the negative impact of high BMI on cardiovascular disease mortality may be underestimated, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in BMJ.
H1N1 Flu Waning, but Many Vaccine Doses Unused
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Although the number of cases of people infected with H1N1 influenza continues to decline and the vaccine supply is now plentiful, not enough people have been inoculated, a top U.S. health official said during a Dec. 22 press briefing held by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CRP Levels Linked to Heart Disease, but Causality Unlikely
TUESDAY, Dec. 22 (HealthDay News) -- C-reactive protein (CRP) blood concentration is associated with risk of a range of diseases, including heart attack, stroke, cancer death and chronic lung disease, but most of the associations between CRP levels and heart disease are explained by risk factors already known to cause heart disease, according to a study published online Dec. 22 in The Lancet.
Gefitinib Found Beneficial in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer
MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), gefitinib, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, may provide longer progression-free survival as compared to standard platinum doublet chemotherapy with cisplatin and docetaxel, according to a Japanese study published online Dec. 21 in The Lancet.
Surgical Approach May Affect Lung Function in Scoliosis
MONDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- In adolescents with scoliosis who undergo surgery, thoracotomy and thoracoscopy are associated with declines in lung function, while thoracoabdominal surgery has no significant effect, according to a study in the December issue of the Journal of Spinal Disorders & Techniques.
Acrylamide Exposure Linked to Decrease in Serum Insulin
FRIDAY, Dec. 18 (HealthDay News) -- Exposure to the common compound acrylamide from smoking or in foods is associated with reduced blood insulin and insulin resistance, according to a study in the December issue of Diabetes Care.
Gene Variant Linked to Improved Lung Function
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- A gene variant has been associated with better lung function in children with asthma and adult smokers, as well as with a reduced risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a study published online Dec. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Smoking Status Predicts Long-Term Survival After First AMI
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Patients who quit smoking before or after a first heart attack significantly improve their odds of long-term survival, and smokers who reduce their consumption after a heart attack also have a modest survival benefit, according to a study in the Dec. 15/22 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
More Computed Tomography May Mean More Cancer Risk
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 16 (HealthDay News) -- The growing use of computed tomography (CT) scans will cause thousands more cases of cancer in the future, according to a study published in the Dec. 14/28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, while a second study in the same issue found that the dose and cancer risk of CT scans varies widely from case to case.
Mutations Less Common in Nonsmokers With Lung Cancer
TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Lung cancer patients who never smoked are less likely to have gene mutations commonly found in smokers, according to a study published online Dec. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. In a related study published at the same time in the same journal, researchers report that childhood cancer survivors who had indicated an intention to smoke were more likely to start smoking within five years.
Popular Children's Song Slips From Hit Parade on CPR Chart
TUESDAY, Dec. 15 (HealthDay News) -- Pacing the compressions of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to the children's song Nellie the Elephant, successfully achieved an approximation of the recommended 100-compressions-per-minute rate, but not the required depth of compression, according to a study published Dec. 13 in BMJ.
Airways Compared in Smoking, Nonsmoking Asthma Patients
FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers with asthma have significantly greater epithelial changes in their airways than asthma patients who have quit smoking or have never smoked, according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
CDC: 15 Percent of Americans Have Had H1N1 Flu
FRIDAY, Dec. 11 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 has sickened nearly 50 million Americans -- which is one in six people -- and killed almost 10,000, mostly children and young adults, a federal health official said in a Dec. 10 press briefing.
Myocardial Perfusion Imaging Judging Method Evaluated
THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Evaluating the appropriateness of myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) is possible in a clinical setting using an automated system, which may help reduce imaging overuse, according to research published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Patients Often Lack Knowledge of Their Own Medications
THURSDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Patients routinely under-report, or even over-report, their outpatient and inpatient medications, and should be included in hospital medication management to improve safety, according to a study published online Dec. 10 in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.
Most Early Cases of H1N1 Across China Were Mild
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Most cases of H1N1 influenza seen in China during the early summer were mild, and initiating oseltamivir within 48 hours of symptom onset could reduce the duration of viral shedding, according to research published online Dec. 9 in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Urine Test May Help Detect Sleep Apnea in Children
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Concentrations of certain proteins and protein combinations in the urine of children may be useful in the diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a study in the Dec. 15 issue of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.
Smoking, Drinking Linked to Multiple Cancer Effects
MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Long-term cigarette smoking is linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer, and alcohol consumption before or after diagnosis of head or neck cancer reduces the chance of survival, according to two studies in the December Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Carcinogen Levels Similar in Herbal, Regular Cigarettes
MONDAY, Dec. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Smokers of regular cigarettes and herbal cigarettes -- products containing tobacco and extracts of Chinese medicinal herbs that are gaining popularity in China -- have similar levels of nicotine and carcinogens, according to research published in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Passive Smoking May Increase Risk of Breast, Lung Cancer
FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- In nonsmokers, exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with a modestly increased risk of breast cancer and a significantly increased risk of lung cancer, according to two studies published in the December Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.
Beta 2 Adrenergic Agonist Use During Pregnancy Examined
FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- The use of beta 2 adrenergic agonist medications in pregnancy can disrupt the fetus's sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system activity, possibly resulting in autism spectrum disorders, poor cognition, impaired motor function, psychiatric problems, high blood pressure and poor school performance, according to a review published in the December issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.
Weight Loss Can Reduce Apnea Disease Severity
FRIDAY, Dec. 4 (HealthDay News) -- Obese men with obstructive sleep apnea who lost significant weight on a stringent diet markedly reduced the severity of their disease in comparison with a control group that did not diet, according to a study published online Dec. 3 in BMJ.
Community-Associated Superbug Poses Threat
THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections have nearly doubled in the last decade and are adding to the problem of hospital-associated MRSA, according to a study in the December issue of Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Ecstasy Identified as Risk Factor for Sleep Apnea
THURSDAY, Dec. 3 (HealthDay News) -- The use of MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, is associated with a higher risk of sleep apnea in young adults, according to research published online Dec. 2 in Neurology.
Volume CT Scans May Improve Lung-Cancer Workups
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In patients at high risk for lung cancer, volume computed tomography (CT) scanning of non-calcified pulmonary nodules over time may provide important diagnostic information, according to a study in the Dec. 3 New England Journal of Medicine.
Mutation Classes Linked to Cystic Fibrosis Outcomes
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- In cystic fibrosis patients, the classification of severity of mutations that is applied to the pancreas may also help predict pulmonary outcomes, according to research published in the December issue of Radiology.
Hospital Report Cards Seldom Lead to Improved Cardiac Care
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- Issuing public report cards on hospitals did not result in significant improvements in cardiac care, according to a Canadian study in the Dec. 2 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study was released early online to coincide with its presentation at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, held from Nov. 14 to 18 in Orlando, Fla.
H1N1 Influenza Rates Drop in Many States
WEDNESDAY, Dec. 2 (HealthDay News) -- H1N1 influenza rates are declining across the United States, but many experts say there will probably be another surge this winter, a federal health official announced Dec. 2.
Women Researchers Lag Behind Men in Grant Awards
TUESDAY, Dec. 1 (HealthDay News) -- Female physicians with a proven interest in research are less likely to receive prestigious research grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) than are male physicians, according to a study in the Dec. 1 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.
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